After Root Canal Treatment, What to Do?

If you’ve never undergone endodontic treatment, you may be uncertain about the post-procedure experience. While the recovery time for root canal therapy is shorter than that of a tooth extraction, it might take a few days before you return to your normal state. We’ve addressed some commonly asked questions about what to anticipate after a root canal treatment below.

How long will I remain numb/in anesthetic effect?
Your tooth and the surrounding tissue will be numbed with local anesthetic during the root canal procedure. It may take several hours for this anesthetic to completely wear off. Avoid chewing and consuming hot liquids until the numbness subsides.

How soon can I eat and/or drink after the root canal procedure?
Refrain from hot liquids and foods that require chewing until the anesthetic wears off. Subsequently, you can eat anything, but steer clear of sticky foods and avoid biting or chewing directly on the treated tooth.

Is it okay to eat with the tooth with the root canal?
Avoid chewing on the tooth with the root canal; instead, chew on the opposite side of your mouth until your dentist places the final restoration.

Can I go back to work after the root canal?
Many individuals choose to return to work after endodontic treatment. However, if your job involves public interaction or extensive speaking, consider taking the rest of the day off due to the anesthetic-induced numbness, which may affect your ability to smile and speak. If necessary, we can provide a doctor’s note.

Can I drive myself?
Yes, most patients can drive themselves home after endodontic treatment, as deep sedation is usually not necessary. If sedation is required, arrange for alternative transportation.

Is it okay to brush and floss my teeth?
You can resume your regular oral hygiene routine after root canal treatment, but wait at least 30 to 40 minutes after the procedure to ensure the temporary filling has hardened before brushing.

Can I exercise after root canal treatment?
There’s no need for downtime after a root canal, but wait until the local anesthetic has fully worn off before engaging in exercise.

Will my tooth be sensitive after treatment?
Your tooth may experience sensitivity or a dull ache for a few days after the root canal, but this is temporary. Strong prescription pain medications are typically unnecessary, and over-the-counter analgesics like aspirin, Acetaminophen (Tylenol), Ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin), or Naproxen Sodium (Aleve) are usually sufficient.

Is my tooth open after treatment?
No, your tooth is not left open after treatment. Although you’ll need to visit your dentist for a filling or crown, a temporary filling will protect your tooth in the interim, guarding against reinfection and damage.

Do I need further treatment after a root canal?
Yes, you must see your dentist for a permanent restoration, ideally within 1-2 weeks after the root canal treatment.

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